Quaresma earns preliminary Portugal call for World Cup
Winger Ricardo Quaresma has seen his strong finish to the campaign rewarded with his first call-up in almost two years for Portgual, 25/1 to win the World Cup with Coral, to their preliminary squad for the Brazil finals.
The 30-year-old is an experienced option that national boss Paulo Bento has turned to as he blends youngsters with proven talent. Record scorer and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United man Nani are other standout names for the 30-man roster.
Former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), ex-Tottenham frontman Helder Postiga (Lazio, on loan from Valencia), and Real Madrid pair Pepe and Fabio Coentrao are other names familiar to English audiences.
Sporting Lisbon goalie Rui Patricio has Eduardo Carvalho (Braga, on loan from Genoa) and either Sevilla stopper Beto or Anthony Lopes of Lyon as backup between the sticks. Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce) is another experienced option in defence, while Valencia duo Ricardo Costa and Joao Pereira have been squad regulars in recent years.
Inter Milan loanee Rolando (from Porto), Luis Neto of Zenit St Petersburg, Antunes (Malaga) and Benfica youngster Andre Almedia complete the rear-guard ranks picked by Bento. Monaco playmaker Joao Moutinho and left-footer Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev) are the senior names in midfield alongside Meireles.
Benfica pair Ruben Amorim and Andre Gomes join talented youngster William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon) and Vitoria’s Joao Matio as other options for the middle of the park. Hugo Almeida (Besiktas) is another experienced striker called by Bento.
Silvestre Varela joins Porto teammate Quaresma, Braga couple Eder and Rafa Silva, Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), and Benfica attacker Ivan Cavaleiro as the remaining forward options. Zenit St Petersburg attacking midfielder Danny is the biggest name to miss out on selection.
Full Portugal preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Eduardo Carvalho (Braga, on loan from Genoa), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Beto (Sevilla), Anthony Lopes (Lyon)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Pepe and Fabio Coentrao (both Real Madrid), Joao Pereira and Ricardo Costa (both Valencia), Rolando (Inter Milan, on loan from Porto), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Antunes (Malaga), Andre Almeida (Benfica)
Midfielders: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Ruben Amorim and Andre Gomes (both Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Mario (Vitoria)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Man Utd), Helder Postiga (Lazio, on loan from Valencia), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ricardo Quaresma and Silvestre Varela (both Porto), Eder and Rafa Silva (both Braga), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica)
Bento’s boys have been drawn in Group G with Germany, Ghana and the USA. They are 9/4 to top this pool.